Best Plasma Ever vs. Best LCD Ever (Verdict: Plasma Wins)

Sound and Vision took took the best Plasma TV they could find (Pioneer Elite PRO-110FD Kuro) and the best LCD TV they could find (Samsung LN-T5281F), and threw them against each other in a carefully calibrated match. The winner, which we've actually seen before as the best flat panel ever, was the Pioneer Elite. Not only is it the best flat panel ever, thanks to improvements in both display techs, it's now actually the best TV ever. Period.

The winner was, in part, determined by how much better the plasma displayed blacks compared to the LCD.

But when we looked over at the Pioneer, we immediately knew we were seeing something special. The same features were so deep that it made the blacks on the LCD look gray—even though this Samsung had the best blacks we've ever seen from an LCD. On the plasma, the car appeared more etched and dimensional against the dark background, thanks to the extra low-level detail, and the letterbox bars virtually disappeared into the set's black frame.

The LCD also got points docked for having a smaller horizontal viewing angle, having an unusually glossy screen surface, and very slightly less good picture uniformity. However, this was the best LCD they've ever seen, and they claim that the technology still hasn't shown the best it can do—meaning there may still be hope yet for LCD fans. In the meantime, this plasma TV is the Best. TV. Ever. [Sound and Vision]